The most desired dental benefit meets the need of working-age people
The queues for public dental care were historically long last year, as the corona years added treatment debt to an already overcrowded situation. According to THL's indicative statistics , the worst situation has been in Helsinki, where the longest waiting time was 9 months. According to the Care Guarantee Act, Finns should be able to get non-urgent dental care in public health care within 6 months.
Also, 6 percent in Turku, 3 percent in Tampere, and 2 percent in Oulu and Vantaa queued for non-urgent dental care beyond the time specified by law. Since dental care affects overall health, the backlog of care also has an effect on the ability of working-age people to work, and thus on working life. Edenred's dental care benefit has been created to meet a need that has been seen in the labor market for a long time.
Dental care affects overall health and the work ability of working-age people
An adult should have a dental checkup every year. The health of the mouth and teeth affects overall health, which has a direct connection to the working ability of working-age people as well. The problem of waiting times longer than 6 months, which are illegal in principle, is made more problematic by the fact that the treatment cannot necessarily be completed in one visit, but a second visit is also needed, which may drag on for months again.
In September, the care guarantee will be tightened to 4 months, and in November of next year to 3 months. According to THL's indicative statistics, in Tampere and Oulu there were queues of more than 6 months even before the corona. Employers can help break this backlog by offering their employees a dental care benefit, which is also what employees most want as a new employment benefit.
Dental care is the most desired employee benefit for those who don´t receive it yet
Oral health care was one of the forms of Finnish health care most affected by the corona crisis. Of all employment benefits, Finnish wage earners want dental care the most. 42 percent of the employees who do not have it wish for a dental care benefit. The matter is clear from a survey carried out by Edenred in October, to which 1,000 Finnish employees of different ages from all over Finland answered.
"Interest towards the dental care benefit is certainly partly explained by the congestion of public dental care services. Access to dental care can be perceived as a hassle. When dental care is included as an employee benefit, treatment can be accessed quickly and effortlessly," says Laura Kuusela, Director of Sustainability at Edenred.
Women and the elderly are the ones who most want dental benefits. 45 percent of women want dental care benefit, compared to 40 percent of men. Of those aged 51 to 62, 49 percent want a dental care benefit, while 31 percent of those aged 18 to 25 want a dental care benefit.
Dental care is not included in the basic occupational health care by law in Finland
Basic occupational health care in Finland is guaranteed by law, but dental care is not covered by the act.
"Only 7 percent of employee benefit users receive dental care benefits. The disproportion is clear, there has not been the same investment in dental care for employees as in other health care, even though oral health affects the health of the whole body, Kuusela says.
The survey result reflects this imbalance, according to the survey, among the employees that would like a new benefit, dental care is the most desired employee benefit.
Employee benefits meet a real need
Finland's largest provider of employee benefit services, Edenred, has just introduced a dental care benefit. Edenred Dental Care can be used, for example, for dental examinations, cavity filling, tartar removal and other care procedures. With the dental care employee benefit, the employee receives dental care at a private dental clinic.
"The new service responds to people's wishes and genuine needs. Although access to dental care in the public sector is congested, private dental care can be accessed quickly. Dental care as an employee benefit shifts patients from the public side to the private side and thus lightens the treatment burden of the public side," Kuusela says.
The dental benefit cannot be used for aesthetic services. Dental care is a tax-exempt employee benefit that, according to the Tax Administration, must be provided in a common and reasonable manner. The benefit should be offered collectively to all staff. Edenred Dental Care is a completely virtual benefit that travels with you in your smartphone through Apple Pay and Google Pay payment methods.
Dental care benefit prevents health problems among working-age people
Poor oral hygiene can lead to serious oral and dental diseases such as gingivitis, tooth decay and oral mucosal diseases. Oral infections can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, for example. In addition, orthodontic treatments, for example, can be used to solve migraines caused by an incorrect bite.
"The importance of employee benefits is emphasized in dental care. Here, employers have a clear opportunity to stand out as a responsible employer who cares about the health of their employees," Kuusela concludes.
Employer, do you already offer the dental benefit?